Ellen Scharaga

Leading Pharmacy Service Operations Efficiency Gains

About Ellen Scharaga

Melville, NY, resident Ellen Scharaga is a registered New York State pharmacist who currently manages the oncology operations at OncoMed Pharmaceutical Services. Over the past three decades, Ellen Scharaga has guided the design and implementation of a number of specialty injectable and infusion home-care pharmacy programs. A key emphasis has been on maintaining adherence to health-care provider guidelines, as well as to applicable government rules and regulations.

Currently based in Melville, NY, Ms. Scharaga leads all aspects of OncoMed staff recruiting, hiring, and training. She has managed a significant increase in personnel while taking proactive steps to ensure efficiency in call center and drug dispensing operations. As a result, turnaround time for orders has decreased by approximately one-third.

Prior to accepting her current responsibilities, She was vice president of pharmacy with New York Group Health, Inc. She spearheaded initiatives related to asthma and diabetes that encompassed physician education and disease management efforts. Ellen Scharaga earned her pharmacology bachelor’s degree at St. John's University.

Just Ask! Campaign Seeks to Reduce Adverse Drug Events

A graduate of the pharmacology program at St. John’s University, Ellen Scharaga has worked in the health care sector for 30 years. Currently a senior vice president at OncoMed, Ellen Scharaga is a member of the New York State Council of Health-system Pharmacists.

In an effort to reduce the number of adverse drug events occurring at U.S. hospitals each year, the New York State Council of Health-system Pharmacists has joined with other organizations to launch the Just Ask! campaign. The initiative seeks to educate patients about the need to communicate with their doctors about the medications they are taking.

Every year, more than 750,000 hospital patients suffer injury or death following an adverse drug event. The estimated annual cost of medication accidents ranges from $1.5 to $5.6 billion. The Just Ask! campaign strives to increase patient awareness about the need to keep detailed records of the medications they are taking and to empower them to ask doctors questions about possible interactions when they receive a new prescription. The campaign also aims to improve medication reconciliation at hospitals and encourage hospital pharmacists to report adverse drug events to the proper authorities.

American Cancer Society Screening Recommendations

Ellen Scharaga of Melville, NY, serves as an operational consultant with Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, where she assists in the development of specialty medicines for chronic conditions such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. Ellen Scharaga is also a supporter of several health-minded charities, including the American Cancer Society.

The nonprofit organization American Cancer Society (ACS) is focused on helping individuals fight cancer through working to find cures and offering education on how to stay healthy. The ACS recommends that most adults complete cancer screenings and offers guidelines for each kind of cancer.

Breast Cancer: Women should get a clinical breast exam every three years during their 20s and 30s and annually when they are age 40 and over. Additionally, women are encouraged to schedule a yearly mammogram beginning at the age of 40. Self-exams are also important.

Cervical Cancer: Beginning at age 21, women should start testing for cervical cancer through a pap test scheduled every three years.

Lung Cancer: Most individuals at average risk for the disease do not need to get screened. However, the ACS does recommend lung cancer screening for individuals with a history of cigarette smoking.

Learn more about cancer screening by visiting Cancer.org.

Cancer Mortality Rates Going Down

Since 2014, Ellen Scharaga has served as an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, based in Melville, New York. Outside of her day-to-day consultation work, Ellen Scharaga supports the ongoing efforts of the American Cancer Society.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) reports that mortality rates for cancer are still decreasing among all genders and ethnicities. The data supporting this conclusion is drawn from the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, which is prepared annually by ACS in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR).

For 2010 to 2014, the report states, out of the 16 most-reported types of cancer for men, the mortality rate went down in 11 of them. In 18 of the most-reported cancer types for women, mortality rates decreased in 13. In studying data over 14 years, the study also found that men aren’t getting cancer as often, while women are still being diagnosed with the disease at the same rate.

St. John’s Opens Career Options with Institute for Biotechnology

Ellen Scharaga of Melville, NY, works as an operations consultant at Alegria Speciality Pharmacy. Before launching her professional career, Ellen Scharaga graduated from St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York, with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacology.

St. John’s University is home to the cutting-edge Institute for Biotechnology. The field of pharmaceutical biotechnology encompasses microbiology, biochemistry, and genetics, with a special focus on how the pharmaceutical sector studies biological processes to discover new treatments.

A growing sector, the biopharmaceutical industry is responsible for creating approximately 130,000 jobs in New York State alone. The industry as a whole generated just over $29 billion in total output in 2009. Career paths in the field include positions in clinical labs, research labs, and information technology divisions at both large pharmaceutical companies and small start-ups. Individuals seeking to find a job in the field of biotechnology can pursue a degree such as the master of science in biological and pharmaceutical biotechnology offered at St. John’s University.